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What in the World is Santacon? Ribald,Bar-Hopping,Costumed Christmas Do-Gooders

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Question: What in the World is Santacon? Ribald,Bar-Hopping,Costumed Christmas Do-Gooders

Dress up as Santa, or a giant gingerbread woman — but do it up, costume-wise — and join hundreds of other Brooklyn fun-seekers off to party as Santas. Head toward your favorite bar, dream up some sexy Santa stunts for photos to post on Facebook — and don't forget to bring a few items of canned food to donate to the needy. What's Santacon? It's nice, and it's naughty, and it's fun. Find out more ...

Answer:

What is Santacon in Brooklyn?

Here's the Santacon recipe: Mix in equal parts: costume party, charity event, December fun for hip young adults, singles event, and Facebook photo op.

 

A movable, boozy, costumed event, Santacon participants dress up as Santa (or reindeer, or a Hanukkah menorah, or anything — but in full costume, please!). It described by the organizers as "a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and nonsensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason."

Sanatacon events are held internationally, from Paris to Hong Kong to Munich, and of course, Brooklyn!

In 2011, according to organizers, the event raised $10,000 for Toys for Tots and donated over 6,000 lbs of food to Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks.About 20,000 Santas participated last year: a small army of Santas.

When is Santacon in Brooklyn and NYC in 2013?

Saturday, December 14, 2013 is Santacon Manhattan.

CANCELLED: 2ND ANNUAL BROOKLYN SANTACON. THE NOTE ON THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE READS, "

MPORTANT UPDATE 12/16/13: ****CANCELLED!! 2013 BK SANTACON CANCELLED*****

"Hi all, Santa regrets to inform everyone that the 2013 Brooklyn SantaCon has been cancelled for this year:( The Damn Sleigh broke down in the North Pole and the elves won't have it fixed in time for Saturday!! We're glad that NYC held it down last week, despite the snow. At least Brooklyn got a piece of the action! "

Where are Santacon "Stops"?

Santacon 20123 operates in two boroughs, Brooklyn and Manhattan on two different weekends.

 

But where, you ask?"  Santas routes will be posted, about a week before the event. Check to see which neighborhoods Santa plans to visit, when and more.

What to Bring to a Santacon?

In 2012, organizers ask participants to bring
  • At least two non-perishable food items for Santa’s food drive
  • Comfortable footwear
  • A Metrocard
  • Cash for food and drinks. Stops will be too crowded to use a credit card
  • Gifts, games, props, and performances to entertain Santas and strangers.
But no open containers of alcohol. Santacon's starting locations serve as collection points for the charitable contributions that participants are asked to bring.

 

Do's and Don'ts of Santas During Santacon

Some of the "rules" posted on the Santacon website:

 

"Organize a reindeer game, toot a horn, hand out decorative homemade pornaments or offer your new friends a nip of your ‘nog. Santa gives gifts, so bring something to share! Ambitious Santas in the past have organized entire marching bands, brought mobile stripper poles and portable karaoke and gotten Santa’s britches in a twist with a giant Twister game. Don’t just go to the bar. RAISE the bar."

Listed among the litany of rules on their website, participants are exhorted to obey the laws and tip the bartenders.

 

Charity and Cheer: A Non-Commercial Take on Christmas

Santacon's part of a DIY, take-back-the-culture, post-college Brooklyn scene: having fun, mocking the norm, getting creative, organizing non-commercial, inexpensive yet splashy events through networks and social media — and in this case, conscientiously doing good, too. As for attitudes about booze, sexuality and religious orthodoxy? They are as playfully relaxed about the former as rejecting of the latter.

 

What Brooklyn's Santacon is not about is this: spending huge amounts of money on store-bought Christmas gifts, conforming to the notion that Christmas is about shopping, or limiting the December holiday season to just one religious theme.

Not everyone loves Santacon. A 2013 op ed in The New York Times decried the public rowdiness and drunkenness of participants.

An Unconventional Santa Claus Convention

  • Much saucier (and cyber-smart) than the average Victorian Santa in his workshop, Santacon specializes in bar crawls, not chimney slides, and encourages people to make "pornaments," all in good fun. The event, which is announced via social media and online, is well documented by photos on participants' Facebook pages.
  • Like any good fairytale icon, Santacon doesn't talk to the press, or take corporate sponsorship or corporate contributions.
  • See a video of Santacon convening at the Brooklyn Museum.
  • Find the "people's Santa" event on Facebook or Twitter to find out where, when and what's happening.
  •  
  • Want more info? See the Santacon New York website.

 

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